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Overview

Calfee provides clients with comprehensive and strategic advice to address both immediate and longer term environmental issues. Calfee’s Ohio and federal experience provides clients with permitting and litigation advice with a clear understanding as to how the resolution of these issues will affect their overall business objectives.

Our Environmental Practice is anchored by a former Director of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, who bolsters our in-depth knowledge of the environmental landscape with his insights. Our team is large enough to take on big companies with large challenges yet focused enough to be nimble and flexible in our approach to advising clients of all sizes.

We balance our specialized knowledge of various industries with our acquired business acumen to provide comprehensive and strategic counsel. Our attorneys address immediate environmental issues at hand – such as Ohio and federal permitting and compliance, proposed rules and changes, and litigation concerns – while counseling clients on how the resolution of these issues will affect their overall business objectives.

We are proud to have represented clients such as RPM International Inc., Union Carbide Corporation, and Chase Brass & Copper Company in their environmental matters.

Our team's core strength stems from three differentiating areas:

  • We have in-depth knowledge of the entire environmental landscape, including from the insights of a former Director of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.
  • We are integrated within one of Ohio’s top business and litigation law firms, as ranked annually by Chambers USA Legal Guide.
  • Our environmental team is large enough to take on big companies with big environmental challenges yet focused enough to be nimble and flexible in our approach to advising clients of any size.

Our Environmental Practice represents publicly and privately held corporations, municipalities, public agencies, and trade associations. Our clients are engaged in a variety of businesses including metals manufacturing and finishing, waste disposal and wastewater treatment, real estate development and lending, chemical and plastics manufacturing, industrial gases, paints and coatings, and minerals and mining.

Noteworthy

Calfee was selected for inclusion in the 2019 "Best Law Firms" rankings by U.S.News–Best Lawyers in America for Environmental Law (Metropolitan Tier 2 Columbus).

Professionals

Experience

Experience

Brownfield Redevelopment

Calfee has extensive experience in brownfield redevelopment projects across Ohio. Our attorneys have counseled clients on creative redevelopment strategies, which allow clients to redevelop sites in cost-effective, timely, and protective manner.  Calfee also has extensive experience with Ohio’s Voluntary Action Program, the State’s voluntary cleanup program, as well as with CERCLA and RCRA cleanups under both State and Federal oversight. Chris Jones also has served as an expert witness in two major remediation cases.

Solid and Hazardous Waste

The environmental attorneys at Calfee have wide-ranging experience with solid and hazardous waste issues, laws and regulations. We advise individuals, companies and municipalities on all laws, guidance and issues relating to CERCLA (“Superfund”), unregulated hazardous waste sites, hazardous substance inventories, solid and hazardous waste generation, solid and hazardous waste treatment, disposal and transport, RCRA, underground storage tanks, and all state and local legal equivalents.

In addition to compliance counseling, we also defend clients when they fall subject to CERCLA and RCRA enforcement or administrative actions or RCRA negotiations involving the RCRA Penalty Matrix to reduce penalty assessments.

  • Superfund/unregulated hazardous waste sites
  • Emergency planning and community right-to-know
  • Hazardous substance inventories
  • Solid and hazardous waste treatment and disposal
  • Underground storage tanks

Representative Solid and Hazardous Waste Matters

  • Represented RCRA permittees in negotiations concerning permit conditions.
  • Represented RCRA permittees in proceedings before Ohio EPA concerning closure plans and activities.
  • Represented RCRA permittees in administrative enforcement proceedings before Ohio EPA and U.S. EPA.
  • Represented private parties named as PRPs under CERCLA with regard to various multi-party Superfund sites.
  • Represented a publicly traded industrial gases manufacturer in litigation and administrative proceedings relating to a multi-party Superfund site where onsite incineration was a component of the remedy.
  • Represented a subsidiary of a major chemical manufacturer in administrative and contempt proceedings brought by the State of Ohio relating to a RCRA closure and groundwater remediation.
  • Provided counsel to landfill owners and operators on solid waste compliance matters involving limits of waste placement, cell construction, liner integrity, permitting and disposal practices.
  • Represented a closely held coatings company and its principal in a state-led felony prosecution relating to alleged hazardous waste disposal.
  • Represented a publicly traded metals manufacturer in a private cost recovery action against a multinational oil company to obtain reimbursement of costs for TCE soil and groundwater contamination remediation.
  • Represented a manufacturer in a RCRA enforcement case to reduce proposed penalties/fines in negotiations with government regulators using the RCRA Penalty Matrix.
  • Counseled various clients on RCRA compliance matters and established RCRA compliance programs for generators and treatment, storage and disposal facilities.
  • Represented landfill owners and operators in solid waste enforcement cases in Ohio.
  • Represented private parties and local governments with regard to underground storage tank regulation and remediation.

Water / Wetlands / Air

  • Storm water runoff
  • Effluent treatment and discharge/NPDES/POTW
  • Groundwater investigation and remedial action
  • Drinking water
  • Wetlands identification and protection
  • Coastal protection and development
  • Air emissions identification, permitting and control
  • Noise and nuisance control and abatement

Litigation and Enforcement Proceedings

  • Environmental contractual indemnity claims
  • Citizen suits and class actions
  • Civil and criminal proceedings
  • Administrative hearings and appeals
  • Toxic torts

Representative Environmental Litigation Matters

The following represents a sample of some of our recent environmental litigation matters:

  • Large Ohio municipality in defense of Clean Water Act SSO/CSO claims brought by Ohio and the United States resulting in a Consent Decree resolving thousands of days of violations with a $60,000 civil penalty and an extended construction schedule patterned after the city’s Long-Term Control Plan.
  • Closely held coatings company and its principal in a state-led felony prosecution relating to alleged hazardous waste disposal.
  • Publicly traded industrial gases manufacturer in litigation and administrative proceedings relating to a multi-party Superfund site where on-site incineration was a component of the remedy.
  • Fortune 200 chemical and plastics manufacturer in litigation and administrative proceedings relating to a multi-party Superfund site involving claims of surface water, stream sediment and wetlands contamination.
  • Subsidiary of a major chemical manufacturer in administrative and contempt proceedings brought by the State of Ohio relating to a RCRA closure and groundwater remediation.
  • Suburban municipality in Clean Water Act litigation relating to improvements to its POTW and NPDS permit compliance.
  • Publicly traded metals manufacturer in a private cost recovery action against a multinational oil company to obtain reimbursement of costs for TCE soil and groundwater contamination remediation.
  • Suburban municipality in negotiations relating to resolution of alleged violations of a Clean Water Act federal consent decree and judicial termination of the decree.
  • Container manufacturer in administrative proceedings concerning U.S. Department of Transportation hazardous materials labeling compliance.
  • Privately held carbon products manufacturer at a Superfund site involving alleged trans-shipment and reclamation of hazardous substances.
  • Closely held paint manufacturer in state-led enforcement proceedings involving the remediation and closure of a municipal landfill.
  • Subsidiary of multinational corporation in defense of a class action involving claims of widespread personal injury and property damage arising out of an explosion and fire on a transporter’s vehicle while traveling on an interstate highway.

Clean Air Act

Clean Air Act

Calfee’s environmental attorneys are experienced in representing large and small companies on Clean Air Act issues. Our clients’ operations range from steelmaking to manufacturing of chemicals and coatings, metal containers, tires, medical devices and hot-mix asphalt to hazardous waste treatment, storage and disposal. Regardless of the industry, our experience allows us to assist clients with all of their Clean Air concerns—whether proactive or reactive action is necessary.

We help clients respond to questions involving major and minor source permitting issues, permit appeals, agency inspections and requests for information. We also defend Clean Air Act judicial and administrative enforcement actions. Our areas of expertise include Title V, National Emission Standards for Hazardous Air Pollutants, New Source Review/Prevention of Significant Deterioration, State Implementation Plans and Stratospheric Ozone.

Representative Experience
  • Advise a publicly-traded manufacturer of steel and steel products on a variety of Clean Air Act compliance issues, including permitting requirements for installation of new equipment, stack testing and continuous emission monitoring.
  • Negotiated settlement of enforcement action that alleged a hot-mix asphalt plant had failed to apply for a Prevention of Significant Deterioration (PSD) permit. Under the settlement, the company was able to avoid PSD permitting.
  • Represent various asphalt plants in challenges to Permits to Install challenging the permits’ imposition of separate emission limits based upon individual fuel types, as well as a number of ancillary issues.
  • Represent a closely-held pharmaceutical manufacturer against allegations of violating the Clean Air Act provisions limiting the use of ozone-depleting substances.
  • Defended a manufacturer of steel castings for various heavy industrial uses against allegations of civil violation of the Clean Air Act, as well as a related criminal investigation.
  • Defended a hazardous waste treatment, storage and disposal facility against allegation that it had failed to obtain a Title V permit.

Clean Water Act

Clean Water Act

Calfee’s environmental attorneys have extensive knowledge of state and federal water regulatory issues and water quality standards. We counsel companies and municipalities to keep them compliant on all issues related to the Clean Water Act, including Sections 401 and 404 and Ohio isolated wetland permit counseling and negotiation, municipal combined sewer and sanitary sewer overflows control plans, water quality standards, National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES), and defense of enforcement cases and administrative appeals related to NPDES permits, injection well permits, and 208 Plans.

Representative Experience

  • Representing municipalities in defense of U.S. EPA enforcement proceedings and consent decree related to SSO/CSO and various sanitary sewer tie-in issues.
  • Represented a privately held public drinking water system in adjudication proceedings before the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency.
  • Successfully defended municipality in administrative permit appeal related to compliance with state water quality plans.
  • Represented municipality in challenge to Permits to Install for sanitary sewer extensions involving state water quality plan compliance and annexation issues.
  • Successfully defended and resolved state enforcement action against public land owner on issues related to discharges to waters of the State.
  • Counseled and resolved enforcement action related to compliance with Ohio injection well permits for private entity.
  • Counseled and assisted private and public clients in obtaining Section 404 permits, Ohio isolated wetlands permits, individual and general NPDES permit coverage and injection well permits.

News & Events

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Calfee was selected for inclusion in the 2019 "Best Law Firms" rankings by U.S.News–Best Lawyers in America for Environmental Law.

Best Law Firms 2019

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